Friday, July 19, 2013

Rust dye chiffon scarf 鏽染絲巾

Accidentally I found the easier way of iron mordant.  This is not my discovery.  Experts may already known and used it. 
 很偶然我的鐵鏽媒染有新發現, 可能專家們覺得我小兒科, 這鐵鏽媒染對我而言是簡單、快捷及不會太濃黑。且看做法.......
This is the way I make the iron mordant by wrapping the chiffon around a rusty pipe, clamp it with rusty clips.  Pour vinegar diluted water over the bundle.  Let it soaked, set aside in open area for some hours.  For me 8-hour is fine to get fabric rusted.  I've made two pieces.
This is one of it.  Indeed rust prints are almost good enough.  
My thought was to wrap with euc leaves to get bright orange color over brown rust marks.  I bundled and boiled in clear water with some vinegar .  After opening some brown rust marks got dark after boiling.
Rose leaves and euc silver dollars leaves are dark with some tie marks.

Though not as expected to have orange prints, I noted the brown rust "penetrated" fabric so most part got iron mordant to dark color in the boiling pot.
The chiffon scarf with both ends some rust marks while the middle part has soft grey. 

This one is longer
This one is wider with some bold euc leaves prints and a little purple.

I like the shades of dark and the tie marks.

I used to wrap with rusty objects and boil for some hours but it's too dark or fabric "rotten" by the iron objects.  After this experiment I'll do my way to get fabric iron mordant so it would not be too dark.
Before I do not like much dark scarf but this gradation of colors even with a little purple in the middle.  Loving it ........Thanks for Sandy D who taught me the way to do rust marks while we're in Spain.


  1. Very nice....As always ;-)

    Hope that you are having a beautiful day.

    Thanks so much,

  2. Very lovely, and thanks for the inspiration

  3. thank you for sharing Terriea!! I have made a bucket with wery rusty water, want to see if that works too in a way... wil be my next experiment

  4. What a beautiful outcome, Terrie!
    I for one, really appreciate that you've shared the "how-to" instructions - I've had similar problems with over-rusting and too much dark so I look forward to experimenting with this gentler approach.

    All the best from the Pacific Northwest,

  5. Terriea, Love your scarf. We did some similar things last summer with Pam DeGroot at the Midwest Felting Symposium in Wisconsin. Pam mentioned in the eco printing class, that the orange rust color will turn black as the iron oxidizes. And she said the black color was more staple on silk and wool than the orange rust color was. This means that it wouldn't deteriorate the cloth as much over time. We would eco print the silk with iron objects wrapped in with it. Then after the bundle was opened, we would dip the whole thing for a few seconds in our "magic iron water" to develop the iron areas and turn them black. The cloth would also take on a greenish tinge in the white areas. For the "magic iron potion", put a rusty nail or other rusty object into vinegar in a covered jar. Let it sit for several days until it makes a bubbly liquid. Use a dilution from this in another container of water to dip the piece into. The dilution was of the "magic iron potion" in water about 5 or 6 parts water to 1 of the magic iron potion.

    1. Sorry Terrie, the above post is from Pat Spark.

    2. Pat, thank you so much for the more detailed and informative process. A great help for my further experiments. You're wonderful!

    3. a small correction [from the originator of the term "magic potion" in regard to the iron and vinegar mix :) ]
      what's happening when the red rust changes to black isn't oxidisation, actually the reverse as an oxygen molecule jumps ship in the acid environment [this is why you see bubbles in Vinegar when the rusty things are sitting in it busily turning black...oxygen bonding with carbon and emerging as CO2, i think?]

      anyway red rust [hydrated ferric oxide] will indeed eat away cloth [and paper] sooner or later, whereas the "reduced" black version, ferrous oxide, is relatively stable and can be employed to great advantage in ecoprinting.

      there's some advice floating around the internet about dyeing paper with vinegar and rust...i'd be cautious about this if you want the work to have archival integrity. there's a good reason why we choose acid-free papers for work intended to have a long life.

      i guess i've waffled enough, all of the above presented with the best of good intentions.

    4. Thank you India for your valuable info. I've your two books in hand. Should digest and refer again. They're treasures.

  6. The results are always a little surprising, aren't they!

  7. Hi Terriea, I did the same to my bed linens and my scarves. I wrapped mine with rusty wires and tin cans. It is magical.

  8. I can't believe a rusty pipe can produce such beautiful results! The scarf is so pretty!

  9. This is wonderful reading, thank you so much ladies, I'm newbie at this and having a lot of fun with silk scarves.


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